Burton Holmes, Inventor of the Travelogue
October 26, 2011 7:30 AM   Subscribe

The Burton Holmes Archive has information about Burton Holmes, the travel writer who became the first person to make filmic travelogues. More importantly, they also have a lot of film clips by Holmes and his associate, André de la Varre, who was also a great travelogue maker himself. Watching these clips is not quite time travel, but it is as close as we can get. Take a look at Reykjavík, Iceland, in 1926, Lake Michigan in 20s, Cairo in 1932 and the 1955 Rio de Janeiro carnival. The later films have sound and narration, but I prefer the silent ones. [Burton Holmes previously, André de la Varre previously, and the Travel Film Archive, which runs Burton Holmes site, previously]
posted by Kattullus (5 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Great post, thank you!
posted by spitbull at 8:08 AM on October 26, 2011

It's fascinating that he had travelogues on places far away (from the United States) and some places I'd consider more mundane (by comparison). For example, one flier promotes Bermuda - Nassau - Jamaica; South Africa; Northern Italy; Thru the Eastern Congo; Bonnie Scotland; another: Sunny Ireland; Favulous Florida; Road to Panama; Amazing Arizona; Canadian Rockies. Florida? Arizona? Virginia?

Intriguing! Thanks!
posted by filthy light thief at 8:59 AM on October 26, 2011

Previously: Sans Soleil.
posted by 0rison at 9:16 AM on October 26, 2011

WWI spurred the technological development of portable video cameras, refined in the post year wars, so that's why you first begin to see these travel documentaries in the 20s. One of the pioneers of portable video camera technology went to Everest with George Mallory in the early 20s, he built his camera by hand to make it light enough to travel across Tibet and up the mountain (part way).
posted by stbalbach at 10:10 AM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

Truly awesome!
posted by Kevin Street at 2:33 PM on October 26, 2011

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